Saturday, August 3, 2013

Keep Standing Strong Barbara Cargill!!!

Donna Garner has an excellent rebuttal to the latest rubbish the Texas "Freedom" Network:
TFN is vilifying Cargill because TFN wants publishers to ignore the new Science curriculum standards (TEKS) adopted by the elected members of the SBOE. Nobody knows those Science TEKS any better than does Barbara Cargill because she poured her sweat equity into them for two years during the time they were under adoption.

Barbara Cargill is a certified science teacher, taught high-school biology in the Texas public schools for years, and conducts a nationally recognized science camp in the summer to which thousands of children come. The camp is so successful that children have to sign up early to get their names on the list.
Just as in the past where SBOE members have had special expertise in various content areas, these Members have tried to make sure that the textbook review teams follow the SBOE-adopted TEKS. That is state law. Instructional materials (IM’s) which pass through the SBOE adoption process must follow Texas’ curriculum standards (TEKS), and all teachers in Texas are to follow the TEKS.

We Texas citizens want Barbara Cargill to be closely involved with the Science IM’s. SBOE members serve the people of Texas without receiving any remuneration. If these members take their valuable personal time to meet with the textbook review teams, we Texans should be grateful. We should thank Barbara Cargill and the other SBOE members for their dedication to making sure that the IM’s are sufficiently aligned with the Science TEKS.

Textbook evaluation teams work in public settings; nothing is done behind closed doors. All SBOE members are invited to attend the meetings and to communicate openly with the evaluation team members. Barbara Cargill is not a vendor nor is she a lobbyist.
 Read the whole thing (and join the Ticked Off Parent and Teacher Association) here.


Update: In a separate piece, Garner addresses the 'substance' of TFN's claim:
At our reviewers’ meeting on July 31, Barbara Cargill (Chair of the SBOE) was active in making sure that Proclamation 14 was carried out correctly and efficiently. She and the TEA staffers went to almost every reviewer’s table to introduce themselves and to thank them for volunteering their time; all seemed grateful for the kind words. There were 3 tables of biology reviewers while there were only 1 to 2 tables for the other IM products.

The process that was used this time was very different from the one used in the past. Before SB 6, there were two lists – conforming and nonconforming. Conforming IM’s had to cover 100% of the TEKS for the subject and grade level; nonconforming IM’s had to cover at least 50% of the TEKS for the subject and grade level. However, because of SB 6, now IM’s only have to cover 50% of the TEKS.

In light of all of the changes to the process, Cargill had asked panel members what they thought of reviewing the materials virtually (in Phase I) as opposed to face-to-face. Of course most would rather have had face-to-face meetings from the beginning, but the cost was prohibitive.

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